- The Lakers will be without three former starters and two key reserves when they host the Spurs this afternoon in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series at Staples Center. L.A. starting small forward Metta World Peace is the latest to join the injured list, as a bothersome left knee has become too much of a hindrance for him to continue. He went without a point or rebound in 18 minutes of Game 3’s loss. The Lakers were already without leading scorer Kobe Bryant (Achilles’ tendon surgery), starting point guard Steve Nash (hamstring/back) and their top two guards off the bench, Steve Blake (hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (ankle). Darius Morris, who scored a career-high 24 points in Game 3, and Andrew Goudelock, who scored a career-high 20, will start in the backcourt and Earl Clark will take World Peace’s place at forward.
- Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni tried to sound optimistic prior to the game, telling reporters, “We’ll fight, and let’s get people to talk about us. Let’s go. Let’s try to make a miracle. Why not?” No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs.
- The Spurs will be without center Tiago Splitter for today’s game and any remaining games in the series. He suffered a sprained ankle at the end of the third quarter in Game 3 and is expected to miss 7-10 days. Aron Baynes, a 6-10 rookie from New Zealand, will make his first NBA start in Splitter’s place.